Local News Articles

Christmas on the Square is Tonight

November 29, 2012
Community Chorus to Perform at Christmas on the Square

The Christmas season is nearly upon us which means it's almost time to celebrate Christmas on the Square & The Downtown Renovation Celebration! This holiday event will be celebrated on Thursday, November 29th from 5 PM to 8 PM on the Smithville Public Square.

The Community Chorus will sing from 5:00 to 5:25 PM on the west side of the Courthouse. Boy Scout Troop #347 will have a Flag-Raising Ceremony at 5:25 PM. Then more music from the Community Chorus after the Tree Lighting. "We've prepared secular music, "White Christmas","Silver Bells", "Christmas in Dixie", and those kinds of things setting the small town, home town stage for Christmas," said Fay Fuqua, Director of the Community Chorus. "There will also be traditional carols as we light the tree. We've ordered 250 candles. Hopefully the wind will cooperate. They (candles) have little drippers. So the chorus will be lighting candles and we'll be passing some out for those who have gathered. Then there will be a segment for children. Its going to work perfect together around the tree," she said.

Tree Lighting Ceremony – Held at 5:30 PM on the west side of the Courthouse.

Courthouse Open House – Stop by to visit & enjoy the refreshments & festive atmosphere. Come by and visit the new Chamber office in the Courthouse, Room 201.

A FREE Photo Booth & Christmas DJ Music will be provided by the City of Smithville – Enjoy your favorite holiday music throughout the night plus have a fun, complimentary picture made at the Cosmo Creations Photo Booth located inside the east entrance of the Courthouse.

Downtown Renovation Celebration – Enjoy a walk around town to see all the new improvements to the downtown buildings, inside and out, as well as seeing the progress of the new Open-Air Stage at Evins Park across from the Smithville Post Office.

At the Justin-Potter Library, Children's Book Author & Illustrator, Shan Burklow, will entertain & read to the children from 6 to 6:30 PM with a chance to win lots of great prizes. And the library will have a special visit from Santa immediately after, so don't forget to bring your camera!

Inflatables & Train Rides for the Children, if weather permits.

There will be extended hours and Open Houses at several downtown stores, offices, and restaurants. This is a wonderful time for Christmas shopping and having a nice meal downtown.

Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams would like to invite everyone to this enjoyable and heartwarming experience – Christmas on the Square & the Downtown Renovation Celebration! For more information, call the Chamber office at 597-4163.

Smithville Police Records Clerk Beth Adcock Honored for Five Years of Service

November 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Records Clerk Beth Adcock Honored for Five Years of Service

Records Clerk Beth Adcock has been presented a certificate of achievement in recognition of five years of dedicated service with the Smithville Police Department.

Adcock received the award from Chief Randy Caplinger on Tuesday at city hall

Others on hand for the observance were Mayor Jimmy Poss and Alderman/Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs along with members of the police department

Adcock oversees the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (T.I.B.E.R.S.) for the police department; volunteers and helps coordinate police and community involved programs such as the Smithville Police Department's Crime Stoppers, Halloween on the Square, and Christmas for Kids.

She holds an associate degree in Business Management.

Prior to joining the Smithville Police Department, Adcock worked as a child support case worker and was later promoted to Child Support Administrator at the District Attorney's Office in Warren County.

Chief Caplinger said the department plans to make it a practice of honoring other members of the department for specific years of service.

(Pictured left to right: Chief Randy Caplinger, Records Clerk Beth Adcock, Alderman/ Police Commissioner Shawn Jacobs, and Mayor Jimmy Poss)

Elderly Woman Airlifted After One Car Rollover on Highway 146

November 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Elderly Woman Airlifted After One Car Rollover on Highway 146
Car Comes to Rest 65 Feet off Highway 146
Air Evac helicopter ambulance lands at the crash scene

An elderly woman was airlifted after a one car crash Wednesday afternoon on Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) between the Game Ridge and Whorton Springs Roads.

Central dispatch received the call at 1:29 p.m.

Trooper Jeremy Wilhite of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 72 year old Martha Thomason of 8591 Short Mountain Highway, Woodbury was driving south on Highway 146 in a 2004 Honda CRV when she went off the right side of the road, struck an earthen embankment, and overturned in a field. The car came to rest upright on its wheels.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Rescue Team were summoned to perform extrication in order to get Thomason out of the car. She was treated on site by DeKalb EMS and then loaded onto an Air Evac helicopter ambulance which landed at the scene. Thomason was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Others on site were members of the Short Mountain Highway Station of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Lighthouse Christian Camp to Host Christmas Party for Needy Children

November 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lighthouse Christian Camp to Host Christmas Party for Needy Children
Children Get to Shop for Christmas Gifts

Each year, the Lighthouse Christian Camp provides weeks of summer camp to disadvantaged and needy children. Through the camp, children, who never otherwise would have the opportunity, get to experience the beauty of God's creation in a new and meaningful way, free of charge.

"Our mission and ministry at the Lighthouse Christian Camp is to find and seek out children that are poor and needy, abandoned, abused," said Camp Director Fran Tyson. "We cover about fifteen counties working with churches, school counselors and coordinators in those areas, who help us identify those children. We then bring them to camp for a week during the summer for free. The camp is completely supported by people who just donate and sponsor these children," she said.

In December, those same children are brought back to the camp by buses, vans, or cars for a Christmas party where they hear the biblical truth and meaning of Christmas, eat lunch, drink hot cocoa, and sing Christmas carols. "This Saturday, December 1 and next Saturday, December 8 we'll have our Christmas parties for the children that have come to camp at Lighthouse Christian Camp," said Tyson. "The children are picked up at different locations in the middle Tennessee area. We have drivers from different churches and buses that pick them up and bring them to camp," she said.

Additionally, children experience the joy of giving to others when they are given "Lighthouse Christmas Money" and are allowed to purchase wonderful gifts for their families and themselves. These children leave with enormous bags full of gifts and hearts full of the love they've received from hundreds of volunteers and staff. For many, this is the only Christmas they will have or know. "We have a huge Christmas store set up in the gym. The children come in and we put them on a team with counselors," said Tyson. "They'll get to shop in our Christmas store in the gym with Lighthouse play money to buy gifts for their families. They get to hear the Christmas story. We feed them lunch at the dining hall. They'll get hot chocolate and spend the day. The first Saturday of December is the girl's party and the second Saturday in December is the boy's party. But the only children who are eligible to come to the parties are those children who have already been to our camps. Its only for the children who have been to missions camp or discipleship camp and who have been invited back to shop," said Tyson.

The public may support the effort by donating gifts to ensure that there are plenty of presents to go around for all the kids who come to the Christmas party. "We're looking for gifts where a child can come in and buy (with Lighthouse play money) a gift for their baby brother, baby sister, a sibling, a mom or dad, or a grandmother or grandfather," said Tyson. "We're looking for gifts like gloves, scarves, hats, shirts, watches, toys, or anything that would benefit us to provide for these kids. They (public) can bring gifts to the Lighthouse Camp at the gym and drop them off there. We also have a drop off point at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in downtown Smithville," she said.

Lighthouse Christian Camp also is getting some valuable assistance in preparing for the Christmas party from the Faith in Action mission team. "Faith In Action is a mission team from Wisconsin and Minnesota and they drive down every year after Thanksgiving and spend the whole week with us," said Tyson. " They help us set up our gym store. They work constantly making gift baskets. They just help us get ready for the Christmas party. I really don't know if we could do the party without this team coming in. They've brought about thirty people this year. It's just an amazing blessing to us at Lighthouse Christian Camp to have them come down and help us," she said.

If you would like to donate to or help with the Christmas party, call the camp office at (615) 597-1264 or visit www.lighthousechristiancamp.com.

David Dixon Indicted in Double Murder

November 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
David Dixon
Ervin Raymon Beacham
Jose Sagahon Ticante

First degree murder indictments were returned by the Grand Jury Monday, November 26 against a McMinnville man in the fatal shooting of two Smithville men in August.

44 year old David Howard Dixon of Hardaway Street, McMinnville was named in a sealed indictment charging him with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of 55 year old Ervin Raymon Beacham and Jose Sagahon Ticante. Dixon is under a $200,000 bond and he will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 10

The case against Dixon was presented to the grand jury by Dan Friel of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Dixon was picked up after the murders on August 7 and has been incarcerated at the DeKalb County Jail without bond since for violation of probation and for failure to appear.

Beacham was found dead in his Tommy Harrell Street home Tuesday afternoon, August 7 . The body of Ticante was reportedly found beneath a pile of debris in the back yard of the residence. Both men had apparently been shot.

Neither the TBI nor Smithville Police have disclosed any details of the case since the day of the murders.

Five Indicted in Recent Child Sex Crimes

November 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Paul D. Gilliam
Bryan Thomas Thompson
Stephen M. Rogers, Jr
Donna Smith
Bryan Smith

The DeKalb County Grand Jury returned indictments Monday, November 26 against five people in recent child sex crimes.

18 year old Paul D. Gilliam is indicted for statutory rape of a 14 year old girl. Sheriff Patrick Ray said at the time of his arrest that Gilliam is alleged to have had sexual intercourse on four or five occasions with a 14 year old female at her home on Dale Ridge Road and with her consent. The offense allegedly occurred on May 30. The case was referred to the sheriff's department and investigated by criminal detectives. Gilliam was arrested on July 11 and brought to the jail.

19 year old Bryan Thomas Thompson was indicted for statutory rape of a 13 year old girl. Sheriff Ray said the case against Thompson was investigated by criminal detectives of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

According to Sheriff Ray, the child's mother, 48 year old Edna Jeanette Cox allowed Thompson to move into her home and to stay in the same room with her daughter, knowing that he and the young girl were having sex.

Sheriff Ray said that Thompson admitted to having engaged in sexual intercourse with the 13 year old girl on several occasions beginning June 30 and knew that it was wrong. Cox was originally charged with child endangerment. Her case has not yet gone before the grand jury. She will appear in General Sessions Court on the charge December 20.

21 year old Stephen M. Rogers, Jr has been indicted with the statutory rape of a fifteen year old and the girl's parents, 45 year old Donna Smith and 33 year old Bryan Smith have been indicted for child neglect, allowing their daughter to engage in sexual activity with this man, even providing them condoms

The warrant against Rogers states that "on Friday, May 11 at a residence in Smithville, Rogers did have sexual intercourse with a fifteen year old female while living with her the previous four months".

The warrant against Donna Smith, the mother of the girl, states that she " did knowingly approve of the daughter's sexual intercourse with a 21 year old male, Michael Rogers. This has been happening for the previous four months and on several occasions. Also the parents furnished condoms to the subjects and allowed them to live together".

The warrant against Bryan Smith, the father of the girl, states that he "did knowingly approve of his daughter's sexual intercourse with a 21 year old male, Michael Rogers. He has known of this going on for the previous four months and on several occasions has furnished them with condoms and allowed them to live together knowing that this was going on in the residence."

The case was investigated by the Department of Children Services and detectives and officers of the Smithville Police Department.

Gilliam, Thompson, Rogers, and Donna and Bryan Smith will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 10.

Fifty One Indicted by Grand Jury

November 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Fifty one people were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday, November 26 including four named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, December 10 at 9:00 a.m.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

David Dixon- first degree murder (2 counts) SEALED INDICTMENT- NOW UNSEALED WITH HIS ARREST

Gary Ashford- sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance in a drug free zone . SEALED INDICTMENT-NOW UNSEALED WITH HIS ARREST

Eric Wayne Tramel and Rhonda Murphy- Co-indicted for aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, and fraudulent use of a credit card. SEALED INDICTMENT-NOW UNSEALED WITH THEIR ARRESTS.

Vickie L. Alvis- driving under the influence (2nd offense), driving on a revoked license

Robert R. Atnip, Jr.- driving under the influence (2nd offense) and possession of paraphernalia

Jenadiah Ray Barnes- forgery

Russell Blackwell- forgery (2 counts)

Kenny Wayne Bly- theft over $1,000, evading arrest, reckless endangerment

Willard Darrell Brown- theft under $500 (2 counts), criminal trespass

Benjamin A. Caldwell- possession of a schedule II and IV drug for sale and delivery, possession of paraphernalia, and theft under $500

Justin A. Cantrell- theft under $500

Wesley L. Chandler- public intoxication (2 counts), possession of a schedule III drug

Joshua R. Cripps- possession of a schedule VI drug for resale, evading arrest

Lindsey Paulette Davenport- aggravated burglary, theft over 500

Ryan Austin Felts- burglary, theft over $1,000 (3 counts), vandalism under $500, auto burglary

Paul D. Gilliam- statutory rape

Mistey Dawn Barnes Goff- initiation of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance for sale and delivery in a drug free zone, and reckless endangerment

Robert Anthony Goff- assault, evading arrest with a vehicle

James Allen Hesson- violation of the sex offender law, possession of paraphernalia

Aaron M. Knight- theft over $10,000

Roxanna Landis- public intoxication, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of paraphernalia

Amy Lawson- theft over $500 (2 counts), escape, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), and criminal trespass

Robert Justin Luna- theft under $500, aggravated assault

Gregory Allen Mayo- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale in a drug free school zone, possession of a schedule VI and III drug, possession of a weapon by a felon, and driving on a revoked license.

Teresa Darlene Mayo- possession of paraphernalia

Travis M. Melton and William R. Denton- burglary, theft over $1,000

James D. Mitchell- initiation of methamphetamine

Stephanie Mooneyham- theft under $500 (2 counts)

Amy Elizabeth Mullican- initiation of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Matthew A. Murphy and Holly Ann Cikalo- promotion of methamphetamine

Christopher B. Pack, Kara L. Funk, Jessica R. Bogle, Kenny W. Bly, and Greg Patton- initiation of methamphetamine and evading arrest.

Tommy Lynn Parsley- possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance, evading arrest on foot, driving on a suspended license (6th offense), and evading arrest with a vehicle.

Dustin Shane Puckett, Michael Ray Slaughter, and Joseph Clark Hindelang- aggravated robbery, theft over $1,000, evading arrest on foot, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance for resale, and driving on a revoked license (7th offense)

Stephen M. Rogers, Jr.- statutory rape

Bryan L. Smith and Donna M. Smith- child neglect

Michael Andrew Snyders- theft under $500, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), evading arrest with a vehicle, and reckless driving

Bryan Thomas Thompson- statutory rape

Heather Starr Trapp- driving on a suspended license (2 counts), theft under $500, and criminal trespass

Amanda Brooke Washer- aggravated burglary, theft over $1,000, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia

David Braxton White- possession of paraphernalia

John Brent Williams- aggravated assault

Smithville Police Seek Crime Stopper Tips in August Robbery at Pizza Hut

November 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police are asking for your help in solving a robbery of a Pizza Hut employee on Thursday night, August 30.

Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that an employee reported to police that after she had closed the restaurant and was locking the doors at around 11:00 p.m. that night, someone came up behind her, grabbed the deposit bag she held, hit her, and then fled on foot. "She was walking away from the building toward her car when she heard someone jump off the concrete wall behind the restaurant," said Chief Caplinger. "When she turned around, the robber grabbed the deposit bag, hit her in the face with his fist, pushed her back, and took off running," he said. She said the person was wearing blue jeans, a dark long sleeved shirt, and a black mask. The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from the days restaurant proceeds.

If you have information that might lead to an arrest call Crime Stoppers at 464-6046. It could mean a cash reward for you.

Meanwhile in another incident at Pizza Hut, Chief Caplinger said that 27 year old Caleb Rigsby was arrested on Saturday, November 24 for disorderly conduct and failure to stop, frisk, and halt. The warrant states that an officer was called to Pizza Hut to check out a suspicious man in the parking lot. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to someone who said that another man (Rigsby) had gotten into his vehicle while his wife was inside. But when the man (Rigsby) saw her he got out of the vehicle and tried to get into another car. By the time the officer arrived at the scene, Rigsby was inside Pizza Hut. The officer entered the restaurant and made contact him. When he asked the man who he was, Rigsby did not respond at first, but then said that he didn't have any ID. The officer then made an effort to cuff Rigsby but he began to resist, knocking the handcuffs out of the officer's hand. The officer then pulled his taser. Rigsby backed up, grabbed a family member by the neck, and tried to use that person as a human shield. Rigsby eventually surrendered to police. He was placed under arrest. Police said Rigsby's actions placed the public in alarm and in fear of more threatening behavior. Bond for Rigsby is $4,000 and his court date is December 20.

28 year old Daniel Ray Wilson was arrested on Thanksgiving Day for burglary and theft over $500. According to the warrant, Wilson allegedly broke into a vehicle at NHC. Entry was made by breaking the back side glass out and taking items from the automobile. Bond for Wilson is $8,500 and his court date is November 29

21 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton was arrested on Friday, November 23 for domestic assault and he was cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug. The warrant states that police responded to a call of an assault in progress on Jacobs Pillar Road. Upon arrival, the officer saw one man holding down another amid several other people who were standing around yelling. The two men were separated and after speaking to everyone at the scene, the officer determined that Hamilton was the primary aggressor. Hamilton had allegedly assaulted a woman by grabbing her hair, pulling her out of a car, and then hitting her several times in the side and back. Hamilton said he and the woman had been arguing and that he threw rocks at her. The officer noticed that the woman had grass and dirt stains on her pants which appeared as though she had been dragged across the ground. Hamilton was placed under arrest for domestic assault. Upon a search incident to arrest, police found in a container in Hamilton's left front pocket, a small plastic bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. Bond for Hamilton is $3,500 and he will be in court on November 29.

24 year old Brandy Nicole Turner was cited for shoplifting on Saturday, November 24. Police were called to Wal-Mart in regard to a theft. Turner allegedly had placed items in her purse with the intent of depriving the store of its merchandise. She will be in court on December 20.

48 year old Treva June Hartman was cited for shoplifting at the Dollar General Store on Saturday, November 24. Hartman allegedly concealed an item inside her purse in an attempt to deprive the store of the merchandise. Her court date is November 29.

Anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that would help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense would be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria Welcomes Justin Cripps

November 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Amanda Cripps, Renee Hale, Judy Corbin, and Justin Cripps

F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy of Alexandria welcomes Justin Cripps to their staff.

Cripps, son of Gerald and Lisa Cripps, recently earned his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the U.T. School of Pharmacy in Memphis.

He joined the staff at Webb Pharmacy's in Alexandria on a part time basis in October and became full time earlier this month.

Cripps, a 2003 graduate of DeKalb County High School, furthered his education at MTSU where he earned a bachelor's degree in Biology with a concentration in physiology and a minor in chemistry.

From there, he went to the UT Pharmacy School in Memphis where he studied for two and a half years and then began his training at the UT Medical Center in Knoxville where he served for a year and a half.

Cripps, who had worked as an intern at Rite Aid Pharmacy in Sparta, became manager there after obtaining his Dr. of Pharmacy degree earlier this year. Cripps later joined the staff at Webb's preferring to work locally instead of for a pharmacy chain corporation. He also is a member of the pharmacy staff at River Park Hospital in McMinnville.

Cripps is now part of the team at Webb's which includes Renee Hale, certified pharmacy technician, Amanda Cripps, certified pharmacy technician, and Judy Corbin, registered pharmacy technician.

The business is owned by Alan Webb and Paula Roller.

DeKalb Middle School Students Attend Junior Beta Convention

November 27, 2012
Living Literature Competition (Photo by Shan Burklow)
Students in Living Literature Group (Photo by Shan Burklow)

DeKalb Middle School students recently attended the 2012 Junior Beta Convention held annually at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Seventy one DeKalb Middle School students participated in a variety of competitions.

The DeKalb Middle School Quiz Bowl team made history at the convention by placing among the top nine.. Members of the team were Ethan Cantrell, Tyree Cripps, Marshal Evins, and Thomas Webb. The competition was rigorous. The team made it through round one with a written test and was called back to compete in the semi-final round for an oral quiz in which the team had to ring in to answer questions.

Other students competed in the following:

Academic Competitions: Quiz Bowl: Math-Eli Cross; Social Studies-Caleb Rowland, Spelling-Luke Green, Science-Isaiah Jones, Battle of the Books-Maggie Robinson, Kelsey Merriman, Eleonore Atnip, and Jayrah Trapp, and Language Arts-Caelin Crips.

Talent: Caelin Crips and Izabella Perez sang "Give Your Heart a Break"

Arts & Crafts: Jewelry Making-Neely Evans, Wood Working-Seth Pack, and Pencil Art-Kristen Parsley

Photography: Thirteen students competed locally and two photographs were selected to represent DeKalb Middle School. Chloe Cripps with a black and white photograph of the "Old Bildad Church" and Makayla Cornett Bain submitted a color patriotic photograph. Others participating were Kayli White, Lexy Spry, Susan Webb, Alexis Roller, Lane Poss, Mathew Poss, Tyler Cantrell, Maggie Turner, Emily Wallace, Eleonore Atnip, Taylor Reeder, Kelsie Merriman, and Elizabeth Cripps.

Living Literature: This year this competition was headed up by a group of outstanding and dedicated students. This project was supervised and orchestrated by Shan Burklow. Shan worked endlesss hours in making this project a success. This competition requires one scene from literature to be constructed and the students must be in a full dress costume that depicts the characters and freeze for a period of four minutes. A break is given and then the students resume. This year's scene was taken from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Participants were Rachel Fuson, Callie Cripps, Grace Odom, Karen Johnson, Zack Parsley, Maddie Dickens, Taylor Spare, Kyle Justice, Jorge Blanco, Regan Foutch, Sahara Lafever, Christian Ellis, Emily Burlow, and Hannah Brown.

Other competitions: Scrapbook- Hayley Martin, Kendal Taylor, Ami Patel, Madison Cripps, Annissa Hall, Taylor Reeder, Faedra Burns, Kaitlyn Cantrell, Izabella Perez, Olivia Fuson, and Kayla Belk.

Banner: Lexi Bates, Abby Evans, Katherine Parsley and Hannah Panter, Emily Wallace, and Chloe Cantrell.

Tower of Power: This contest is to see how tall of a structure the group could make using masking tape and 150 straws in fifteen minutes. Participants were Bradley Miller, Allison Maynard, Jacob Self, Steven Jennings, and Gentry Harpole.

Poster contest: Amelia Patterson, Emily Wallace, Taylor Reeder, and Annissa Hall.

T-shirt design: Mikaela Holden.

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